David Cobb, UCL, was Appointed Programme Director in August 2006. The Programme Director, reports to the Programme Board, incorporating a variety of stakeholders, chaired by Tim Broyd.

Programme Board

The Programme Board has 12 members, who have been chosen because of their particular background and expertise in the field of sustainable communities. The Board's role is to oversee the programme, agree the criteria against which projects proposed for funding are to be invited and assessed, the process of assessment and approval and to monitor the programme as it rolls out. The Board has appointed the Oxford Institute of Sustainable Development as independent auditors/evaluators. They report directly to the Programme Board and attend all meetings. Projects that ask for funding above £300k are referred to the Board for approval. Because we have deliberately chosen people with an active current expertise and interest in the subjects that we are funding, board members may inevitably find that some projects proposed for funding come from companies or institutions in which they have a personal interest. In such cases Board members are required to declare their interest and to take no part in the Board's decision.

Programme Board diagram


Programme Board Biographies

Professor Tim Broyd

Professor Tim Broyd, Halcrow (Programme Board Chair)

Professor Tim Broyd is the Group technology director of Halcrow. Tim is responsible for driving the development of technology and innovation throughout the company and for directing Halcrow's knowledge management programme. In addition to his new position at Halcrow he's also been appointed as the new chair of construction innovation at the University of Dundee. Tim has extensive experience in promoting innovation in the construction industry. This includes a number of years as the founding director of research and innovation at Atkins, and most recently five years as chief executive of CIRIA (Construction Industry Research and Innovation Association). He is a Fellow of both the Royal Academy of Engineering and the Institution of Civil Engineers, and a visiting professor at the University of Reading.



Jane Carlsen, GLA

Jane currently works for the Greater London Authority and is a Principal Planner in the London Plan team. Her work addresses strategic planning policies for the open and built environment, sustainable development, climate change mitigation and adaptation, health and community infrastructure. Jane is also developing in partnership with the London Health Commission and the London Sustainable Development Commission, the GLA’s work on Integrated Impact Assessment to meet the requirements of the Strategic Environment Directive together with Sustainability Appraisal for the London Plan and other Mayoral strategies. Jane represents the GLA on a range of Londonwide groups including, the London Parks and Green Spaces Forum, London Renewables, the Three Regions Climate Change Partnership and the London Historic Environment Forum. She is also a member of the Forestry Commission’s Regional Advisory Committee for London.

Jane previously worked for Essex County Council and the London Planning Advisory Committee. Whilst there she developed policy for sustainable development and managed the collaborative production of LPAC’s State of the Environment Report for London.


David Cobb

David Cobb - Programme Director

David Cobb, a chartered civil engineer, is the Programme Director for UrbanBuzz. He has been involved with the project since its instigation and, along with Professor Alan Penn and UCL's then Commercial Director Jeff Skinner, helped win the HEFCE/DTI funding. David is responsible for the management of the Programme Office and overall implementation of the Programme.

In the 10 years following graduating with an MSc in geotechnics in 1982 David worked for minor and major consultants / contractors in the offshore and onshore sectors in UK and overseas. Following the award of an MBA from Cranfield School of Management he was recruited as Project Director to establish BRE's unique Cardington Large Building Test Facility. In addition to subsequent consultancy activities - primarily helping clients leverage domestic and EU funding applications for a variety of sectors (including construction, shipping, trade, economics, aeronautics and finance) David joined Imperial College to project-manage 'FutureHome' - a large EU framework project seeking to adapt advanced manufacturing technologies for the production of affordable housing. Prior to UrbanBuzz, and following a 2-year period in UCL's European Office, David was recruited as Business Development Manager for the Bartlett Faculty of the Built Environment with a remit to harness their portfolio of niche and multi-disciplinary competences and reach out to targeted industrial sectors in a way that solved their problems, increased shareholder value and created real business for UCL.



Susannah Hagan, UEL

Susannah Hagan is Reader in Architecture at the School of Architecture and the Visual Arts, University of East London. She is Programme Leader of the MA Architecture: Sustainability+Design and director of the research group r.e.d. (research into environment and design). She is a member of the Steering Group of the Royal Town Planning Institute International Development Network, andof ESA (Educators for Sustainable Architecture), and a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, and the Forum for Urban Design, New York. She has lectured extensively in the UK and abroad on environmental design, and her publications include, ‘City Fights’ (with Mark Hewitt, James&James 2000), ‘Taking Shape’ (Architectural Press, 2001), and ‘Digitalia’ (Routledge, 2007).

‘Sustainable communities’ require environmental as well as social and economic health, and the environmental tends to be the Cinderella of the three. The central importance of the quality of the physical environment in the well-being of any community is my reason for being part of UrbanBuzz.


Peter Morris

Professor Peter Morris, UCL

Professor Morris was appointed to the Chair of Construction and Project Management at UCL is January 2002. He was previously Professor of Engineering Project Management at UMIST during which time he was also Director of the Centre for Research in the Management of Projects (CRMP). He continues as a Visiting Professor at UMIST and as Director of CRMP. He has conducted research with firms such as AMEC, Balfour Beatty, Ove Arup, WSAtkins, and Skanska, as well as BP, BNFL, and Pfizer on a wide range of issues, including strategy, design management, knowledge management, and procurement. Professor Morris is also Executive Director on INDECO, a leading management consultancy in the project management. Previously he was a director of Bovis Ltd., and worked with the consultants Arthur D.Little Inc. and Booz Allen Hamilton, as well as with Sir Robert McAlpline & Sons Ltd.


Tadj Oreszczyn

Professor Tadj Oreszczyn, UCL

Tadj Oreszczyn is Professor of Energy and Environment and Director of Environmental Design and Engineering Studies at the Bartlett, UCL. From 1992-99 Tadj was Director of the Energy Design Advice Scheme (EDAS) Regional office based at the Bartlett. EDAS was a department of Trade and Industry and DETR funded initiative, which provided free energy advice to building professionals during the design and refurbishment of buildings. The scheme advised on over 1,200 building projects and identified more than £17 million per year in energy savings. Current research interests include energy efficiency, indoor air quality, light and lighting, building related health problems and internal environment within historic buildings.


Professor Alan Penn

Professor Alan Penn, UCL

Alan Penn is the lead academic on the UrbanBuzz Programme. Alan Penn is Professor of Architectural and Urban Computing at The Bartlett School of Graduate Studies, University College London, and Director of the VR Centre for the Built Environment. His research focuses on understanding the way that the design of the built environment affects the patterns of social and economic behaviour of organisations and communities.

In order to investigate these questions he has developed both research methodologies and software tools. These are known as ‘space syntax’ methods. Current research includes the development of agent based simulations of human behaviour, the development of spatio-temporal representations of built environments, investigations of scaling properties of urban spatial networks and the application of these techniques in studies of urban sustainability in the broadest sense, covering social, economic, environmental and institutional dimensions.

Alan Penn is a HEFCE Business Fellow, a founding director of Space Syntax Ltd, a UCL knowledge transfer spin out with a portfolio of over 100 applied projects per year, including whole city masterplans, neighbourhood development plans and individual buildings. He was the founding Chair of the RIBA's Research and Innovation Committee, and served in that role until 2006. He is Chair the Architecture & the Built Environment sub-panel 30 for the UK National Research Assessment Exercise 2008.


Genie Turton

Genie Turton CB

Genie was Director General for Housing and Planning in the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister until early 2004,and led the production of the government's first Sustainable Communities plan. She now works as a non executive director with a number of organisations in the private and voluntary sectors. She is a non executive Director with Wates Group Ltd, the family owned Construction Company,and with Rockpools Executive Search, a trustee of the Dulwich Picture Gallery, Horniman Museum, Pilgrim Trust, and the AA Motoring Trust, and a board member of the Historic Houses Association.

Genie worked in government from 1970. She was Deputy Secretary for Housing and Regeneration in the Department of Environment from 1991-1994, responsible for the development of City Challenge and the Single Regeneration Budget and the establishment of Government Offices for the Regions. From 1994-1997, she ran the last Prime Minister's Citizens Charter Programme, including the Charter Mark quality scheme, and between 1997 and 2000 was responsible for the establishment of London's new government.

Jean Venables

Dr Jean Venables, Crane Environmental Ltd

Dr Jean Venables OBE is a Chartered Civil Engineer and Chartered Environmentalist with an MSc in Public Health Engineering and a long involvement in water and wastewater engineering, water pollution control, water resources issues and flood risk management. Jean is President of the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE), the first woman to hold this role. 

In addition to her consultancy work through Crane, Jean's current appointments include being Chairman of the Thames Estuary Partnership and Chairman of the Expert Panel for the Thames Estuary 2100 Project, which is developing plans for flood risk management in the Estuary until the year 2100.


Elanor Warwick

Elanor Warwick, CABE

Elanor trained and practiced as an architect in the public and private sector for ten years. She maintained her association with academia by working as a Research Fellow at the department of Epidemiology at UCL, and studying at the LSE's MSc in City Design and Social Science. She then became Research Manager at the Peabody Trust, responsible for a research programme evaluating the impact of their innovative schemes such as BedZED, ensuring that theoretical sustainability was translated into practical delivery.

Since Summer 2003, Elanor has been employed as Head of Research and Futures by CABE, managing a diverse and extensive programme of research. CABE's research and investigation covers all sectors of the built environment, and the design process, from the value of urban design, to the impact of design on the users of building and spaces, with an emphasis on outcomes that are useful and relevant to a broad audience of professionals and public.


Max Weaver

Max Weaver, Community Links

Max Weaver is Chief Executive Officer of Community Links, a large, Newham-based charity that works across the whole age range. He is involved with several other educational and charitable organizations and was previously a Deputy Vice-chancellor at London Metropolitan University. The fundamental objectives of his present organization are to develop individuals and to support and build communities, processes in which evidence, analysis and strategy play an important part.



Ray Wilkinson

Ray works as a development director at the University of East London, with a focus on creating projects which engage the diverse expertise of higher education in the regeneration of Thames Gateway.

Ray is excited by UrbanBuzz's important brief - namely, "how can academic expertise be used to practical effect to improve the quality of life in the Thames Gateway"



Maureen Worby

Maureen has over 30 years experience of working in East London in a variety of capacities ranging from third sector representation through to consultancy and advice. She has successfully project managed several large SRB programmes including Canning Town and Forest Gate.

Currently employed by East Thames Group as Interim Head of Neighbourhood Regeneration, Maureen is responsible for the practical implementation of sustainable neighbourhoods in all new and existing housing that the Group owns or manages. This entails taking a Group overview on the impact of interventions, not only from a physical perspective but also in relation to the delivery of social responsibility programmes. She is also responsible for the engagement of communities in environmental sustainability as well as the Groups programme related to Health.

Maureen is passionate about local communities and her additional public sector experience includes being a local Councillor for 14 years with lead responsibility for Social Services and latterly the Regeneration Portfolio. She is now Chair of an east London Primary Care Trust. A keen advocate of fresh approaches to sustainability, Maureen has shared her knowledge and expertise at several conference and seminars


Personal Statement

I would like to extend my thanks for all the hard work put in by Pamela Gardner, John Lock, Nick Pollard and Bruce Mew on the Programme Board since the inception of UrbanBuzz. Changes in their circumstances have meant that I have, reluctantly, had to accept their resignations in recent months. We can look forward to receiving the wisdom of new members in the near future – the first of which is Ray Wilkinson from UEL whose expertise is urban regeneration.

Professor Tim Broyd, Chair of the Programme Board, November 2007

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